Teddy Bear Cancer Foundation Gold Ribbon Luncheon

Teddy Bear Cancer Foundation Honorees Shaun and Carla Tomson, courtesy photo.

Teddy Bear Cancer Foundation Honorees Shaun and Carla Tomson, courtesy photo.

Teddy Bear Cancer Foundation (TBCF) celebrates its Gold Ribbon Luncheon on October 5 at the Coral Casino at Four Seasons Resort, The Biltmore in Santa Barbara. The Annual Gold Ribbon Campaign, held in recognition of National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, culminate at this luncheon where community members and supporters gather in support of an imperative cause—supporting children with cancer. The event also honors this year’s Gold Ribbon Luncheon Award recipients.

Andrew Firestone serves as host and honorees include  Shaun and Carla Tomson. The 2016 Santa Barbara Teen Star USA, Jackson Gillies, will perform and there will be entertainment by other youth talent.

“The heartbreak that a family that has a child diagnosed with cancer faces is unimaginable,” says Andrew Firestone. “As a father, I want to help alleviate the financial and emotional challenges that families endure. Teddy Bear Cancer Foundation is one of the most critical organizations in town. Let’s bring together our generous community and raise money to help these brave families and kids.”

This year’s Heart of Gold Award recognizes a couple that has gone above and beyond in giving of their time and talent for the benefit of TBCF and the families served. Carla and Shaun Tomson’s interaction with the families, volunteers, and staff has been genuine and compassionate, demonstrating a huge heart for the cause, say TBCF representatives.

This year’s Humanitarian Award recognizes Cottage Children’s Medical Center, a group that has been dedicated to improving the human condition of TBCF families. Day in and day out, they work tirelessly to alleviate the suffering of children who are battling cancer—supporting and contributing to the welfare and well-being of not only the child going through treatment, but their whole family too. The staff members of Cottage Children’s Medical Center are true advocates for youth with cancer and their families and go the extra mile in providing comfort, care, and the resources they need.

This year’s Pay-It-Forward Award recognizes the Krasnoff Family, a TBCF family who has given back to the organization by paying-it-forward. This family, despite the hardships they faced with the loss of their daughter Lexi to cancer when she was just two, have chosen to give back to TBCF by providing support to other families, sharing their personal story at events, and being advocates of the cause.

This year’s Helping Hands Award recognizes Pati Kern, an individual who has fully immersed herself in the cause for more than a decade. Kern has shown outstanding volunteerism and has participated in the inner workings of TBCF by coordinating major fundraising events and creating unique opportunities for our kids within the Moments in Time program. She has shown great support to both the staff and the families and has been a tremendous supporter of the organization ever since the day they were first introduced to her kind heart.

Teddy Bear Cancer Foundation’s September Gold Ribbon Campaign seeks to generate awareness about pediatric cancer and how it affects families; bring attention to the critical role TBCF plays in supporting Tri-County families that have a child who is battling cancer; raise funds to support TBCF’s financial, educational, and emotional support programs; and provide networks for youth with cancer and their families. The gold ribbon is the universal symbol to raise awareness about pediatric cancer. Gold represents a precious metal and the children battling cancer are precious.

The Gold Ribbon Luncheon Event Committee includes Connie Gillies, Erin Griffin, Pamela Gruen, Jamie Hansen, Kathy Kelley, Stephanie J. Noel Kirlin, Corey Lester, Monique Montgomery, Hal Price, Lacy Taylor, Michael Taylor and John Weninger.

This year, TBCF has raised $123,500 of their $300,000 goal during the Gold Ribbon Campaign. The organization is asking the community to “Go Gold” and help kids fighting cancer by making a contribution towards the Campaign. Admission tickets to the Luncheon are available for $150 and raffle tickets are $20, buy five tickets and receive the sixth ticket free! For more information, to purchase Luncheon or raffle ticket(s), or to make a donation, please visit teddybearcancerfoundation.org or call 805/962-7466 today.

—Leslie Dinaberg

Originally published in Santa Barbara Seasons Magazine on September 28, 2016.